There were few highlights in the first three quarters of a lacklustre Riddell District Football League match between Macedon and Riddell on Saturday.
With just 12 goals scored up until that time, few could have predicted a blistering finish.
But that’s exactly what Macedon delivered.
The Cats went into the last change with a 42-point lead and added another 12 goals in the final quarter to blow the margin out to more than 100 points, winning 21.14 (140)-5.7 (37).
Cats coach Jeff Andrews said despite the outcome and such a big winning margin, it’s the toughest match they’ve had this season. It’s the first time in five years the Cats have beaten the Bombers.
“The pressure they put on us in the first half – it was the toughest we’ve faced to date,” he said.
“They were doing stuff in terms of numbers behind the ball and we had to react to deal with it, which we did. We didn’t do it well enough early which meant they were in the game.
“We had some forward 50 dominance but we didn’t have scoreboard dominance.”
Andrews said he didn’t see the last quarter performance coming at the last break.
But he said the side’s finals exit last season, in a thriller to the Bombers, may have had something to do with it.
Chris Kilmartin and Jason Cooke kicked five goals each for the Cats.
Andrews said the forward line now has plenty of options and would be difficult for opposition to match-up because all the forwards are happy to share the goals around.
And in a pleasing sign for the Cats, they won the game in a different fashion to their opening three matches, when they were out of the blocks quickly.
“I’ve had it asked of me why the fast starts,” Andrews said. “We’ve changed nothing from what we did last year and at times last year we were poor starters.
“We spoke before the game [that] if we don’t have a fast start we have to deal with that …We found a way to keep at it and it came late as opposed to early.”
The Cats are the only team undefeated after four rounds.
Andrews said they hadn’t expected that heading into the season.
Bombers coach Jamie Elliott said his young side ran out of legs against one of the top sides in the competition.
“I don’t want to put numbers behind the ball, I want them to learn a bit about playing football. It was probably a 10 to 12 goal margin their way, it’s disappointing to see it blow out like that.”
Having taken the youth approach last season, the Bombers have gone even younger this year.
With two debutantes at the weekend, the Bombers have had 13 players play their first senior game.
Sitting 1-3 after four rounds, Elliott said the Bombers were under no illusions where they are at.
“We’ve got a lot of players who are not quite there yet, but they’re learning. It’s hard when the personnel drops off. We had Benny Sonogan go off after the first contest. We’ve got a bit of work to do.”
Meanwhile, Romsey pulled off the biggest upset of the season so far with a six-point win against Diggers Rest.
Wallan, Rupertswood, Melton Centrals and Sunbury Kangaroos all had big wins.